BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

How to Write a Website Proposal for Ecommerce

If you’re like most salespeople, you probably don’t relish the prospect of writing in-depth website proposals. From cover letters to pricing breakdowns to specific timelines, there are lots of different elements to coordinate.

But the truth is that solid proposals are incredibly powerful sales tools. They can turn clients that are only partially interested in your services into ones that are convinced nobody else can match your ability to deliver on the job.

What’s more, they’re immeasurably more convincing than alternative end-of-the-funnel documents like generic invoices, emails, or pricing brochures.

Whatever the role proposals play in your sales process, whether they’re integral for persuading new leads, or the icing-on-the-cake for already-hot prospects, it’s crucial that you know how to write them well.

So if you’ve ever wondered how to write a business proposal, then you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’re going to look at exactly what goes into a winning proposal. We’ll also provide a simple template based on thousands of client success cases.

What is a website proposal?

An website proposal in ecommerce a detailed outline for an ecommerce-related project, including goals, specific steps that will be undertaken, timelines, and budgets.

After reading a proposal, a potential client should know exactly what outcomes you intend to achieve, how you’re going to achieve them, and how much it’s going to cost. A proposal will often act as a contract, with the option for clients to approve the project and pay for it.

A proposal is usually sent at the end of the sales cycle, after a period of dialogue and when a client is already interested in your services. Ultimately, the goal of the sender is to flesh out the specifics of the project and obtain approval (and possibly payment) from a client.

Website proposals will cover website development projects on major ecommerce platforms. But proposals aren’t necessarily limited to these tasks. A broader proposal might encompass other ecommerce services like sales, marketing, optimization, and even logistics management.

How to write a website proposal for ecommerce.

A solid website proposal template for an ecommerce site will cover all the key parts of a project, from the initial design process all the way through to testing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance. It will also include detailed information about timelines, budgets and the main people that will be involved.

There’s no gold standard or perfect website proposal example. Any format will be tailored to meet your own unique needs. That said, the following is the one we’ve found to be most successful:

1. Cover letter

This is the short, introductory part of the proposal where you outline the project in general terms. You can also include an overall price at this point if it’s appropriate to do so.

2. Outline of the project.

This is where you outline in concrete terms the nature of the project and how you intend to complete it. If the cover letter is a short, abstract summary, then the outline is a much more detailed description of the various tasks involved.

For example, you might cover areas like initial planning, sitemap and wireframe creation, content development, website design, and testing in this section. You are not yet going into specific timeframes and goals, but you do want the recipient to finish this section with a clear understanding of your proposed approach and the unique skills you bring to the table.

3. Goals and outcomes.

This is the place where you will describe the goals you intend to achieve. You want to begin by giving a broader outline before drilling down into specific, measurable outcomes. The goals and outcomes section builds on the outline of the project by painting a thorough picture for the recipient.

4. Schedule and measurement.

This section includes specific milestones of the project and when they will be completed, usually in a table format. It is important to describe your mechanism for measurement at this stage - how will a client know that you are on track with the project?

5. Budget.

Always include a detailed breakdown of the budget along with the overall cost. It’s important to remember, however, that when describing how the money will be allocated, you shouldn’t confuse clients with an avalanche of data. Your budget breakdown should be detailed but not impenetrable.

6. Organization information.

Include information about your organization and details of the people that will be working on the project.

7. Approval and payment options.

This is where recipients can sign a proposal (preferably in the form of an electronic signature) and will be directed toward payment options.

How to win the project and close the sale.

Once you’ve put in place the bones of your website proposal for ecommerce, it’s time to optimize it for success. Small tweaks to your proposal and delivery strategy at this stage can make a world of difference.

Implement the following suggestions to boost your close rate and increase the speed at which prospects become clients:

  • Focus on the client: Proposals should always center on the specific desires and pain-points of your prospective client. The focal point shouldn’t exclusively be your services, but also how they relate to the unique needs of the recipient.

  • Emphasize your areas of expertise: If you have a particular area of specialty - whether it’s developing BigCommerce integrations or automating key processes for ecommerce stores - emphasize these skills whenever it’s appropriate. Most retailers understand that there are large disparities between different ecommerce platforms and will want to hear about the unique experience your company brings to the table.

  • Leverage eSignatures: Only a few years ago, approving a proposal was a laborious process. Documents had to be printed, signed manually (often by numerous individuals in an organization), scanned back onto the computer, and resent. All of these steps then usually had to be repeated by the original sender. eSignature software, which allows digital signature fields to be embedded into proposals, streamlines this process drastically. It enables a client to approve a document in seconds. Adopting electronic signature software, which is more secure than paper signatures, will often significantly notch up a company’s close rate.

  • **Send proposals at the optimum time:**Research shows that a weekday at around 10 AM is the best time to send a proposal to a prospect (in their respective time zone). Aim to catch them just after breakfast!


  • **Don’t forget to follow up:**The more emails you send the better! Most companies don’t send follow-up emails because they don’t want to risk annoying clients. But research shows that this is rarely the best strategy to take.

  • **Use rich media:**Using at least one image and one video is 32% more likely to be successful.


  • But there’s a caveat: Including too many instances of rich media can make a proposal appear convoluted. Videos, images, and graphs are excellent for communicating information and capturing attention. Just don’t overdo it.

  • Agree on a confirmation deadline: If possible, agree to a deadline for approval with your prospective client. When done tactfully, this will ensure that prospects don’t keep putting off signing a proposal indefinitely.

  • **Add a personal touch:**Don’t forget to add bios of key people in your organization. Clients want to see who they’re going to be working with!


Ultimately, a solid website proposal for ecommerce should cover all crucial parts of a project. By creating it, you’re showing your clients what they can expect. Start using the right structure for your proposals and see how it will change your business performance.

BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

Start growing your ecommerce business even faster.

High-volume or established business? Request a demo